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Recognise non-grads – Tan Cheng Bock urged in 1989

In recent weeks, the Government has urged Singaporeans to consider alternative paths to success in their careers, and that a university degree was not the only route to a rewarding career.

To encourage what it said was a "cultural shift" needed for this change of mindset, the Government says it will be doing more to support the aspirations of non-graduates, with the public sector taking the lead.

The Public Service Division announced changes to its employment and career policies on Wednesday, giving non-graduates a boost to their career paths and salaries. (See here.)

But recognising non-graduates is not a new idea.

In fact, as far back as 1989, Members of Parliament - and even ministers - had urged the same.

For example, in July 1989, the MP for Ayer Rajah, Tan Cheng Bock urged the Government to "lead the way to show that a polytechnic diploma holder is as valued in the workforce as a university graduate."

Dr Tan, who later ran for president of Singapore in 2011, was then the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee on Education.

The Business Times reported him thus:

tcb19892

 

While there seems to be an impetus now from the Government to do what Dr Tan suggested in 1989, do you think that this "cultural shift" in mindset will take a very long time to entrench?